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Laurence Fox ordered to pay £36,000 to Drag Race UK's Crystal, Stonewall trustee and Corrie star

The actor called Crystal, Simon Blake from Stonewall and actress Nicola Thorp "paedophiles" in 2020.

2022-05-27

Words: Alastair James: pictures: ITV

The actor, Laurence Fox, has been ordered to pay £36,000 to three people, including Drag Race UK's Crystal after he called them "paedohiles". 

A judge made the decision on Thursday (26 May) after rejecting a bid from Fox to get a jury to preside over his defamation case against Crystal, Stonewall trustee, Simon Blake, and Coronation Street actress, Nicola Thorp.

In 2020, Fox called all three "paedophiles" during a row online after they accused him of being racist in response to the supermarket Sainsbury's celebrating Black History Month. They sued the actor who filed a countersuit.

"The defendant has not satisfied me"

As reported by The Metro, Fox's lawyers requested in April that the defamation case be heard by a jury rather than a judge but Justice Nicklin had "no hesitation" in denying the request.

The judge added in a written statement: "The defendant has not satisfied me that a fair-minded and informed observer would conclude that there was a real possibility that a judge trying this case alone would suffer from 'involuntary bias'."

Fox was then ordered to pay the legal costs for Crystal, Blake, and Thorp which amount to £36,684 in total. Fox has 21 days to pay the trio.

Documents also show Fox's costs from the request come to £116,314.55.

Fox said in a statement afterward was was "disappointed" by the result and that he "believed this was an ideal case for a jury to sit, especially considering the emotive and zeitgeist issues in play."

"Nonetheless, I fight on and am confident justice will be served," the actor added.

The next hearing is due to take place in the autumn.

The Attitude May/June issue is out now.